Wednesday, July 25, 2012

To be a Pyrrhic victory, you need an actual victory.

It looked the WI Democrats could at least claim the barest fig leaf in their epic failure of a perpetual campaign to oust the people responsible for returning the state to fiscal sanity -- er, stripping public unions of the right to collectively bargaining for benefits. Sure, they'd blown tens of millions of dollars on failed efforts to oust the state supreme court justice, on a special election to retake the state senate, and -- in their most spectacular failure -- on the recall of Scott Walker. But in that final failed recall, the state senate flipped! Democrats had control of half the legislature ... for the only six months when the legislature doesn't meet ... and they'll probably lose it in the November elections this year. But hey -- they won something for that colossal error in judgment and waste of resources.

Oops. Guess not.

So, to recap, for all their money, effort, expenditure of political capital, and racking up ill will among the electorate, WI Democrats got pretty much nothing: not the state supreme court, not the governor, not even a functioning majority in the state senate. When you think about it, they got even less than that. Every dollar spent in this recall is a dollar that can't be spent for Obama in the general election. Plus, it gave the WI GOP and Tea Party a wonderful test run for their spectacularly successful GOTV (that's "get out the vote" for you non-political nerds) operation. Not only did they aid their opponents by energizing them and allowing them a test run for the general election, they actively harmed the President's campaign by sucking millions of union dollars it looks increasingly like the Obama campaign will desperately need come the fall.

Usually, when you destroy yourself so thoroughly in pursuit of your goal you at least have the benefit of calling your efforts Pyrrhic. But to have a Pyrrhic victory still requires ... you know ... a victory.

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